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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

The real estate market in Colombia has been very active during the past decade. Government spending through a free housing initiative and the stable and favorable political environment have incentivized capital flow into the country. All asset classes have benefited from the investments. Commercial real estate developments have taken advantage of this economic growth, but the residential market has been the strongest as an average of 230,000 units have been built and sold every year since 2013. Colombia still has room for residential expansion. Housing shortage is close to 4 million homes and it is estimated that 35% of the population are renters. This paper explores the history of the mortgage system, explains the current investment vehicles for real estate, and proposes an alternative to inject liquidity and stimulate housing production. The focus of the investments should be on operating the assets rather than selling them. The business model of building and renting out units has been overlooked in the country, with a potential rental market of 14 million people.

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